Misconceptions About Christianity
It is not unusual for people outside of Christianity to make assumptions about what the faith teaches and promotes. The perception of individuals about Christian belief and practice often has to do with what they hear in the media and possibly some less than charitable actions on the part of those within the faith. This has led to some rather serious misconceptions about Christianity that need to be laid to rest.
All Christians Follow the Same Doctrine
It is not unusual for Christians who belong to a specific tradition to know very little about beliefs that other Christians hold. For example, a member of a fundamentalist Christian denomination could easily be unfamiliar with the Eastern Christian concept of apokatastasis, or the restoration of all things. This is because that particular ancient belief received less attention in the Western Church.
That nature was one of several points that led to the first great schism within the faith. Even among those who hold to the concept of the Trinity, there are those who see the Father, Son, and Spirit as one in purpose rather than substance. Others lean toward a unified concept that is known as modalism. There are others who see Jesus as a great teacher, but not quite on the same level as the Father.
All Christians View Scripture Literally
When it comes to the written word, Christians of different stripes hold a variety of views. At one end of the spectrum, there are those who believe every word within the canon was dictated by God. At the other end, you will find Christians who view the written word of Scripture as the best attempt of humans to put experiences with God into words. There are all sorts of combinations in between that include eclectic mixes of these two extremes.
All Christians See Other Religions as Threats
There is no doubt that antagonism toward other religions is present among some Christians. The point is that many Christian churches do teach that there is truth found in other religious tradi-tions. Those denominations tend to be bridge builders that seek to find common connections with people of many different faiths.
Never assume that the Christian across the table thinks and believes like the one you met yester-day. There is a very good chance that he or she holds some very different views.